Star Wars – The Force Awakens, original trilogy, or the prequels – has its ardent fans. The Force Awakens is a little new for its fanatical fanbase, but it isn’t hard to find for the original trilogy that ran from ’77 to ’83. From the greatest to the least fan, winning contests full of nifty prizes is always fun, but certainly the fanatical fan will always win out. Case-in-point, Jim Braden has beat a contest that even if held again to break his record, is unlikely to be beaten by anything less than a droid. Variety reports that the Alamo Drafthouse decided to run what they felt was the ultimate Star Wars The Force Awakens contest, but you better like all the original six, or you might not be able to tackle their colossal feat.
Hold on to your lightsabers: Star Wars fans had to sit through all six original Star Wars films and a continuous loop of Star Wars The Force Awakens. No definitive cut-off was set for the looping of Star Wars The Force Awakens, so presumably you had to either best your opponents or pass out from exhaustion later than everyone else. The feat was difficult, but the Star Wars marathon prize package seemed worthy. The prize was seven years of free movies, a ton of Star Wars collectibles, and of course, the chance to deemed “ultimate champion.”
James Braden shows that geekiness transcends age, especially if it relates to Star Wars. Braden, a 40 year-old Dell content strategist, was one of only seven contestants to participate in the Star Wars marathon contest. For Braden it was all about his passion for the almost four decade-long Star Wars franchise.
“I wanted to demonstrate my passion. I grew up with ‘Star Wars.’ As a kid, the simple morality just appealed to me. Everybody likes a white hat hero they can get behind.”
When the sixth contest tapped out and the light came on, Braden had watched 46 hours of Star Wars. His loop of the new movie Star Wars The Force Awakens was nine whole hours. Obviously, it would not be wise to challenge Braden to a who-can-stay-up-the-longest challenge, at least if Star Wars was allowed to be viewed.
For Braden, it was all worth it, but he did admit a lot of “mental hell” and “physical hell” went into the contest, as some had some physical complaints before dropping out.
“We put ourselves through hell mentally and physically. Watching it became almost a hallucinatory experience… one other guy complained of having chest pains and dropped out. I came out of it saying that ‘I still enjoyed the movie.’ That’s how you know it’s good.”
There seems to be some merit to Braden’s claim, as Star Wars The Force Awakens has been shattering box office records. According to Deadline, it had the biggest opening weekend at $529 million, and it is now at $1.09 billion globally. That is $544 million domestic and $546 million international. It currently ranks as the No. 6 movie of the year overseas, globally the No. 5 movie of 2015, and No. 15 movie of all time.
It is safe to say that newest Star Wars film’s title had the ability to make or break of the new film and its upcoming sequels. Cinemablend reports Star Wars The Force Awakens had one other contender that stood above the pack for possible film titles, and it partially took the title from a previous “extended universe” book. It was a member of the Lucasfilm story group that dropped the answer in a Twitter conversation. Star Wars Shadow of The Empire was the title being considered, and in some ways it made sense, when you consider where the film is picking up from.
Though, for those who have seen Star Wars The Force Awakens, the latter title works quite well. Not to mention the potential backlash and confusion with using a name similar to the book Star Wars Shadows of The Empire, considering they separated from the “extended universe.”
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